Another of Museveni’s anti-Corruption Speeches as Uganda Marks Heroes Day

In yet another speech, President Yoweri Museveni has spoken angrily against corrupt officials within his government that he accused of failing efforts to drive the economy forward.

Speaking from State House, Entebbe, as the country commemorated this year’s Heroes Day, Museveni used terms such as “crooks, kawukumi (parasites)” to describe the corrupt officials whom he wished hell.

Such people, Museveni said, had failed local manufacturers of power transformers in preference for importation.

“Even this Coronavirus; before I came here this morning, I talked to our scientists [and they told me that] we are moving very well. We can get this medicine even before the Europeans get it if we get rid of the parasites within us; the parasites only think about themselves, I’m fed up of such people… parasites; go to hell,” Museveni said.

The speech is an addition to the growing list of the President’s recent speeches against the vice that has dogged his 34-year-hold onto state power.

Museveni’s speech comes six months after he led a 4km-walk anti-corruption through Kampala streets. And at the end of the walk, Museveni promised to act tough on officials accused of corruption.

The walk was organised to mark the first anniversary of theLt. Col. Edith Nakalema-led State House anti-corruption unit that he created in 2018 to “complement the Inspectorate of Government.”

Nine days earlier, on November 26, 2019, Museveni, while launching Minister Mary Karooro Okurut’s book titled; Uganda’s March to Industrialization 1986 – 2040, warned his corrupt officials whom he threatened to decisively deal with.

“We are very ready to fight and crush corruption. If they disturb you, find a way of mentioning it to your Ambassador. He or she will whisper it to me and you will soon see the casualties,” Museveni said.

Weeks later in his New Year’s message on December 31, 2019, Museveni, like he had done at the end of 2018, promised to end corruption, saying there is no one that his government is afraid to take on in the fight against corruption. 

“The NRM has opened a war on corruption. We shall defeat corruption. There is no corrupt individual that we cannot bring down. All we want is evidence. We never want to be unfair to anybody. Stay tuned on this,” Museveni said.

So, wasn’t his Heroes Day speech not just another speech against corruption? This writer asked Don Innocent Wanyama, the senior presidential press secretary to which he responded; “Your question has lots of innuendos.”Just another speech.” Whatever you mean by that. In that case, I would propose that we wait and see. He pointed out the areas that need immediate action like support to scientists, purchase of locally made transformers etc. Since you’re already skeptical, what about we wait and see?”

In the view of anti-corruption activist, Cissy Kagaba of the anti-corruption coalition of Uganda (ACCU), it has become a ritual for Museveni to speak about corruption but without action.

“It’s just rhetoric and it’s become a mere ritual for him to talk about corruption, during the state of the nation address, he said that they were now focusing on three points out of the NRM 10-point-program… fighting corruption and democracy are not among the priority points this time,” Kagaba said.

“Talking about corruption without action is irrelevant, look at the scandals in OPM [Office of the Prime Minister], ghost pension beneficiaries, failure to act on Auditor Generals reports etc,” added ACCU’s executive director.

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